The Princess and the Dove
I tell this Italian folk tale once again, this time in the midst of an ever evolving saga of sexual exploitation, the fallout of which is sending shock waves through our culture. It certainly does not adequately addresses guilt too long denied or anger too long repressed or suffering so long endured nor does it offer, in itself the formula to lead us out of this moral swamp. So why tell it all? Neither the princess nor the spellbound prince are romanticized as the tale begins. One cannot help but be disturbed at the princess' unhealthy willingness to sacrifice her own self worth or the spell-released prince's contempt for her sacrifice—the loss of self-respect as well as the lack of respect for the other. The transformation occurs, of course, when the princess forces the issue. The prince faces his own guilt and asks for forgiveness. The princess, who has discovered her self-worth and power, forgives and both are healed.
I like happy endings so, of course I like it for that. But deeper than that, it speaks to me of the virtue so long denied—genuine respect which I believe is foundational for the healing of our culture. And that is the reason I tell it again and again.